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What to Put on A Pastrami Sandwich (29 Easy Ideas)

Hey there, sandwich-lover!

We know how hard it is to find the perfect combination of ingredients that will make your pastrami sandwich just the way you like it.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 29 ideas for what to put on your next pastrami sandwich.

Read Also: 13 Irresistible Pastrami Sandwich Recipes You Need to Try

But first, what do you put on pastrami sandwich?

The best ingredients to put on a pastrami sandwich are mustard, pickles, and sauerkraut. These items complement the meat perfectly by adding both a spicy kick and a bit of sourness to balance out the richness of the meat.

Still looking for more ideas?

Then keep scrolling!

What to Put on A Pastrami Sandwich

Pastrami Sandwich

We all love a good sandwich.

But sometimes, you just want to go above and beyond.

You want to make your sandwich… even better.

So let’s get started!

1. Mustard


This is one of the most classic ways to spice up your sandwich, and luckily it’s also one of the easiest to do.

Just spread some mustard on each slice of bread and add your meat, cheese, veggies—whatever you feel like!

It will add an extra burst of flavor that makes this classic sandwich even better.

2. Sauerkraut


If you’re looking for something with a little kick, sauerkraut might be just what you’re looking for.

Just pile it on top!

You might want to use less than usual because it can get pretty salty if you aren’t careful about how much you use (which is why it’s listed at second on our list).

Otherwise, you’ll be enjoying all the benefits of sauerkraut without having to worry about overdoing it!

3. Coleslaw


This is an excellent choice for those who like a little bit of crunch!

Just mix together shredded cabbage, carrots and onions with a mayo-based dressing and then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

You can also add in some shredded cheese if you like it cheesy!

4. Honey Mustard

Honey Mustard Sauce

Honey mustard is made with honey instead of sugar—it’s sweeter than regular mustard and will bring out the sweetness of the pastrami almost like adding jam would!

Just add it straight onto the bread or use it as a dip if you prefer dipping your sandwich into something sweet instead of smothering it in ketchup or other condiments!

5. Avocado


Adding avocado to your pastrami sandwich is a great way to add a healthy dose of flavor and color.

But we know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t avocado too expensive?”

The answer is no!

You can get a whole bag of avocados for just $2, which will be enough for at least 20 sandwiches.

And you can use them in so many ways—add them to salads, use them as a spread for toast, or simply eat them straight from the skin.

6. Ketchup


Ketchup is another classic topping for pastrami sandwiches, but one that can often be overused by people who don’t know any better (or are just trying to make it more spicy).

We recommend adding just a few drops of ketchup—you’ll find that it adds just enough sweet and tangy flavor without being overwhelming or making you feel like your mouth is on fire when you take a bite!

7. Carrots

Grated Carrots

Carrots are a classic topping for a pastrami sandwich—they’re crunchy, sweet and savory all at once, which makes them the perfect complement to the salty meat.

Plus they’re super easy to throw together, so if you’re in a rush or just need something quick, this is a great option.

And hey—you can always add them on top of other options on this list like spinach leaves or pickles!

8. Spinach Leaves


If you’re looking for something lighter than carrots (but still super flavorful), these spinach leaves are perfect!

They add a little bit of bite and texture without overpowering the rest of your sandwich with their flavor (like say… cucumber slices might).

They also add some color thanks to their dark green hue which makes them look super appetizing when paired with red onions or colorful pickles!

9. Bacon Sliced Thin and Crispy


Seriously, who doesn’t like bacon?

That’s why it’s a classic topping for sandwiches.

But did you know that there are different ways to slice your bacon? You can get it sliced thin and crispy, which is ideal for sandwiches.

The thinner the slice, the more crispy it will be—and that’s what we’re after here!

10. Pickles


If you’re not a fan of pickles, leave them out—but if you do like them, then feel free to pile on as many as you want!

They have a slightly sour flavor that really complements the salty pastrami.

11. Jalapeno Peppers

Sliced Jalapeño Peppers

Jalapeno peppers are one of the most delicious ways to add flavor to any sandwich.

They have a bit of a kick and can pack quite a punch if you’re not careful! Try adding them in between slices of bread or on top of your meat.

12. Cucumbers


Cucumbers are another great way to add some extra flavor to your sandwich without taking away from the meat itself.

They’re crunchy and refreshing—but also just plain delicious!

Try slicing them up into thin slices and placing them on top of your pastrami in between two pieces of bread, or even slicing them into rounds and adding them as an extra layer inside the sandwich itself!

13. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice

Lemon juice is great because it brightens up the flavor of your sandwich while also giving it a nice tangy bite!

Try squeezing a little lemon juice over your meat before adding any other toppings—the freshness will really pop in your mouth!

14. Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

Salt and pepper have been used since forever to enhance the flavor of food without overpowering it or making it too salty.

They’re an essential component of any sandwich—but especially one as flavorful as a pastrami sandwich!

15. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil has a mild taste and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It’s also great for cooking, so if you’re feeling fancy, drizzle some on top of your sandwich and give it a quick toast.

16. Lettuce


Lettuce isn’t just for salads anymore!

It can add a lot of crunch to your sandwich, as well as some freshness and moisture that goes well with juicy meats like pastrami.

Try adding lettuce to your sandwich on the bottom half so it doesn’t get squished by ingredients like tomatoes or cheese!

17. Tomatoes


Tomatoes aren’t just for salads (or ketchup).

They can give your sandwich some serious flavor without being overpowering—and they’re also very easy to add!

Just slice them up, throw them on top of your meat and cheese, and voila!

You’ve got yourself a new favorite sandwich.

18. Cheese


Cheese is always delicious on sandwiches—and we don’t mean just any cheese!

The key to making this sandwich stand out is finding the right kind of cheese for your pastrami (and vice versa).

For example, if you’re using smoked pastrami, you might want to reach for something sharp like cheddar or pepper jack; if you’re using boiled pastrami, you might want something milder like swiss or provolone.

19. Onions


Onions are a perfect addition to a pastrami sandwich.

They add a nice crunch, and they can really enhance the flavor of your meat.

How to make it:

  1. Slice an onion into thin strips, then saute them in butter until they’re translucent and soft.
  2. Top your sandwich with the onions, or even just add them to the inside of your roll!

20. Sauteed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are another great option for toppings because they add a different texture and flavor profile to the sandwich—perfect for when you’re feeling less like meat and more like veggies!

21. Mayo


Mayo is one of the most popular condiments for pastrami sandwiches, and for good reason.

The creamy, tangy flavor of mayo pairs perfectly with the salty meat and crunchy bread.

How to make it:

  1. Mix equal parts mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl until thoroughly combined, then spread it on your sandwich as desired!

You can also add a bit of mustard if you like that extra kick!

22. Gherkins


If you’re looking to add a little bit of crunch, gherkins are your best friend.

Gherkins are small, pickle-like vegetables that add a great texture to any sandwich.

They also provide a nice tangy flavor that will compliment the salty nature of pastrami perfectly!

How to make it: Slice the gherkins into thin slices, then add them to your sandwich as desired!

23. Onion Rings

Onion rings

Are you a lover of onions?

Do you wish that they could be more present in your life?

Well, here’s a tip: onion rings.

Onion rings are the perfect topping for any sandwich, especially when it comes to pastrami.

When cooked just right, they’re crispy and crunchy and delicious—all things that will make your sandwich even better!

24. Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard Sauce

Dijon mustard is another way to amp up the flavor of your pastrami—and it pairs well with pretty much any other condiment you might be using too!

If you’re looking for something with a little more bite than regular mustard (which is usually milder), try this one out!

25. Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce is so delicious—it’s actually better than store-bought!

And it makes for a great topping for any kind of sandwich, especially one with pastrami in it!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves; cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice; return pan to heat and cook until sauce thickens slightly (about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper before serving on top of your pastrami!

26. Aioli


Aioli is a delicious spread made from mayonnaise and garlic. It adds a creamy, savory flavor to your pastrami sandwich that’s hard to beat!

How to make it:

  1. Blend 3 cloves of garlic, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of olive oil (or other neutral-flavored oil), and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice together in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, then spread over your pastrami before adding the cheese.

27. Fried egg

Fried egg

If you’re looking for a way to make your pastrami sandwich even more delicious, adding an egg is a great way to do it!

Fried eggs are delicious on their own, but they also help bring out the flavor of pastrami and make it taste even better.

How to make it:

  1. Fry an egg in butter or oil over medium-high heat until both sides are crispy and the yolk is set.
  2. Then top your sandwich with the fried egg!

28. Caramelized onions

Caramelized Onions

If you’re looking for another way to spice up your sandwich, try caramelized onions!

They’re sweet, but have a little bit of spice that goes really well with pastrami.

How to make it:

  1. Slice an onion into thin strips, then saute them in butter until they’re translucent and soft.
  2. Top your sandwich with the onions, or even just add them to the inside of your roll!

29. Corned beef hash

Corned beef hash

Corned beef hash is often overlooked as an option for sandwiches—but we think it deserves another chance!

It’s got all the salty goodness of pastrami without being quite as red-meat heavy, so it’s easier on your stomach (and tastebuds).

How to Decide What to Put on Your Pastrami Sandwich

Pastrami Sandwich

When you’re putting together a pastrami sandwich, there are a few things to consider.

1. How Much Time Do You Have?


If you’re in a rush and need to grab lunch on the go, it’s best to stick to the classics: pastrami with mustard on rye or a bagel.

If you’ve got more time, though, try adding some fresh arugula, thinly sliced onion, and spicy mustard to your sandwich.

2. How Hungry Are You?

If you’re really hungry and looking for something filling, get a side of fries with your sandwich.

If you’re not quite as hungry but still want something substantial that can hold up against a long afternoon of work or errands, try adding some grilled onions and avocado slices to your sandwich instead—they’ll add good fats without making it too heavy or overwhelming your stomach!

3. Do You Have Any Dietary Restrictions?

If you’re following a low-carb diet or trying to avoid gluten altogether, stick with just mustard and pickles on your sandwich—they’re both naturally low in carbs and gluten-free!

4. Consider Your Guests

Whether it’s your family or friends, you need to think about what they’re going to like best.

For example, if your kids are picky eaters and don’t like spicy food, then putting hot peppers on your sandwich might not be a good idea.

If your guests have allergies or dietary restrictions, then make sure they know what’s in the sandwich before they try it so they don’t get sick!

5. Where Will You Be Eating It?

If you’re having your pastrami sandwich at home, then it doesn’t matter where it’s made—you can make it anywhere!

But if you’re planning on eating your sandwich on the go, then it’s important to consider how that might affect the way you prepare and assemble your sandwiches.

If you’re going to be eating them in a car or on public transportation, for example, it’s probably best to keep them simple and easy-to-eat so people don’t end up with a mess on their hands (or lap).

And if you’re taking them on an airplane as carry-on luggage, then they should be as compact as possible so they don’t take up too much space in your bag.

6. How Many People Are You Feeding?

If there are just two of you, a regular-sized sandwich will do just fine.

But if there are more than two people in your group, consider doubling up on ingredients or making two sandwiches instead of one—it’s way easier than trying to divide one huge sandwich among everyone!

7. What Kind of Bread Do You Have?


Some breads are better suited for pastrami sandwiches than others—for example, rye bread tends to be the best choice because its hearty texture holds up well against strong flavors like mustard and corned beef without getting soggy too quickly.

Pastrami Sandwich

What to Put on A Pastrami Sandwich (29 Easy Ideas)

Experimenting with your pastrami sandwich toppings is a great way to make your sandwich even more delicious.
For example, if you like your pastrami on rye bread with mustard, you can also try it on wheat or sourdough bread.
Or maybe you love Swiss cheese on your sandwich—but what if you try it in place of provolone? You might like it even better!
Try swapping out the thin slices of onion for thick slices of red onion. Or try sauerkraut instead of regular pickles.
You never know what combinations might become your new favorites!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 145 kcal


  • Mustard
  • Sauerkraut
  • Coleslaw
  • Honey Mustard
  • Avocado
  • Ketchup
  • Carrots
  • Spinach Leaves
  • Bacon Sliced Thin and Crispy
  • Pickles
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cheese
  • Onion
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Mayo
  • Gherkins
  • Onion Rings
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Aioli
  • Fried egg
  • Caramelized onions
  • Corned beef hash


  • Pick your favorite toppings from this list to use on your sandwich.
  • Prepare the rest of your tasty meal.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword What to Put on A Pastrami Sandwich